April 17, 2019

With Junior Transfer Cowan Adding Scoring, Hun Girls’ Lax Taking Things to a Higher Level

ALL IN: Hun School girls’ lacrosse player Ally Cowan, left, goes after the ball last Saturday against Blair. Junior midfielder Cowan scored five goals in a losing cause as Hun fell 13-11 to the Buccaneers. The Raiders, now 2-4, play at Princeton Day School on April 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Ally Cowan singlehandedly kept the Hun School girls’ lacrosse team in the game early on as it hosted Blair last Saturday.

Junior transfer Cowan scored all three goals for Hun as it fell behind 7-3 midway through the first half.

“I know that it is better if I can take control and just be a leader on the field,” said Cowan. “That is the best for the whole team.”

The rest of the Hun team, though, came alive as it went on a 4-3 run to make it a 10-7 game at half.

“Once we got a few goals in, that brought the energy and everybody was just hyped up,” said Cowan. “We could move forward from there.”

The contest turned into a nail-biter down the stretch as Hun narrowed the gap to 10-9 and 11-10 on goals by Cowan only to end up losing 13-11 as it moved to 2-4 on the season.

“We just really brought it and it was a really competitive game,” said Cowan, reflecting on Hun’s rally. “It was back and forth, it all comes down to the 50/50 balls. Unfortunately we just fell short in the end. It was well played at both sides of the field.”

Following in the footsteps of brother, boys’ lax star Devon, Cowan has found a home at Hun after transferring from Lenape High.

“I came here partially because of my brother, but most of all, it was just the overall better opportunities offered,” said Cowan, who played for the Hun girls’ soccer team this fall.

“I am having a lot of fun, just trying to be a leader for the team, I tried to fit in as soon as I came into school. I am just trying to help the team to keep winning some games.”

Hun head coach Rachel Hickey is having fun coaching Cowan. “Ally is strong; when she gets the ball, she wants the goal, which is awesome,” said Hickey of Cowan who ended up with five goals in the loss to Blair.

“She dodges well, she shoots hard, she sees the cage and she goes aggressively to the cage. That is hard to stop defensively.”

Hickey was heartened to a see a strong performance from her players collectively as they battled back against the Buccaneers.

“I knew we were capable of playing like this all season; now that they have seen it and I have seen it, that is what I am going to expect every single game,” said Hickey.

“The bar is set higher to come out that hard every game and to recognize what adjustments we need to make during the game and putting them into the game as well.”

The Raiders made adjustments at both ends of the field against Blair.

“The main adjustments were defensively staying ball side and then seeing ball and seeing girl because I felt like we were getting back-doored in transition,” said Hickey.

“Offensively we really worked on moving the ball faster this week. You move the ball, you move yourself within three seconds. That is our rule of thumb to work together.”

Hun got some good work from sophomore Renee Nearing as she tallied two goals in the defeat.

“Nearing is definitely stepping up; she is one who is always looking to get better, which, as a coach, you can absolutely appreciate,” said Hickey.

“There were some things in practice that she is working on and now she is getting more in front of the goal cage.”

Diminutive junior goalie Ariel Gold stood tall in front of the cage for Hun, making 11 saves.

“I was definitely happy to see her on and she made some big saves to keep us in the game,” said Hickey of the 4’9 Gold. “She is super agile.”

Looking ahead, Hickey is looking to help her players to find happiness in giving their best on the field.

“I want them to come to practice every single day and work as hard as they can and also feel the joy in playing this game and having fun every single day,” said Hickey, whose team is playing at Princeton Day School on April 18.

“We can find the balance between having fun and being focused; it is about enjoying every moment when you are on the field.”

Cowan, for her part, believes the Raiders need to make the most out of their moments on the field.

“We need to focus on finishing our shots and playing as a team more,” said Cowan.

“We need to be capitalizing on the other team’s mistakes and trying not to make uncaused turnovers.”